Being Teeny Tiny Boss Ladies

A nickname we were given a few years back from a slightly more vertically blessed employee.

It fits. We wear it.

Over the last few months we’ve had to make some tough decisions, making changes and sacrifices that feel like the ‘Boss Ladies’ part of our title has been more present than ever.  We’ve had to put our business hats on and put the health and growth of our small and cherished business, first.

Above our personal love of teaching.

Above the personal desire to please everyone.

For the strength and security of our team and the future of our business in an industry that is rapidly changing. Here’s a bit of what’s going on for us.

As a bold step in our role as studio owners, we have made the decision to take a step back (or up?) in our duties at the studio from June 30th this year. This is a vital step in becoming an  efficient and effective business that creates a positive in-studio experience for all of the clients that Movement Principle supports. There is not one client, one shift or one teacher that is more valuable than another but rather a growing system of people supporting people that needs to be nurtured to survive and flourish.

The community that was created inside the walls of our studio spaces is one that needs to be supported and valued and part of that experience relies on the behind the scenes mechanism being truly functional and adaptive. (Much like our bodies! The philosophies  of pilates apply to more than just movement!)

A studio owners our role is day to day: the boring numbers, paying the tax man, managing staff, cleaning the toilet and so much more. But more importantly it is to be adaptive to the community needs alongside staying viable and relevant in the industry. We’re not great with change, particularly ones that can cause disappointment. Quite often we give hope and promise to situations with not much chance of recovery. A “just in case” attitude has seen us keep some classes on the timetable well past when they should have been changed. Well past what was viable and well past the “long hard look” we should have been taking. But we know these decisions have to be made sometimes, and we are as committed to the long term health of this business as we are to the long term health of our clients.

In our new role, we will be able to:

  • provide better management to support the day-to-day runnings of the studio
  • be more available for client enquiries and questions, and support staff with administration and deal with problems as soon as they arise
  • to work on some of the great ideas we’ve had for extra opportunities for all of our clients, our community and the development of our team (think workshops! retreats! research! community and charity classes!)
  • confidently provide cover for our teachers when they are away on holidays or sick.

One of the main values that we are dedicated to is providing teachers for all of our classes that are professional, dedicated, well trained and reliable. There is a lot of variety out there as far as pilates qualifications and we have made a point to always employ teachers who have educated themselves in the most comprehensive and professional courses in the industry. In turn, we strive to provide our teachers with a good work-life balance, a supportive environment to grow and learn, and as much consistency in their work and their income as is possible. Our new schedule and systems are just one more step towards improving things for all of our team.

We are very excited and inspired by what the next little instalment of Movement Principle will become, and we are buzzing with ideas. New ways of doing things and new experiences to bring you. Watch this space as we evolve, yet again, in this crazy world of business and pilates.

Catherine & Anita

 

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The pro’s and con’s of working with a new teacher

There’s something comforting about working with the same teacher for your pilates sessions, week in, week out.  They get to know your body and you as a person. Plus it’s a fairly personal situation, and getting to check in with someone regularly and debrief on the ups and downs, can be a wonderfully supportive element to your physical routine.

A consistent teacher-client relationship can grow to be a very valuable one, with a shared history and a ‘shorthand’ in communication. “Can I do the thing…? You know, the thing?”……… Sound familiar? Also, from the teacher’s perspective – “Let’s do the diamond necklace next” (aka. downstretch) or “It’s time for the one that works your butt” (aka. skating). It can be reassuring, and have a lot of value, to have a teacher who you’ve worked a long time with, and not just because they often remember every injury, ache and muscle strain you’ve ever had.

However, there’s also so much to be gained from a fresh set of eyes! We notice this all the time, that the change to a new teacher can bring an unexpected energy and focus. It can help you redefine your goals as your teacher notices different elements of your movement and introduces new variations of the exercises for you to try and master. Every teacher has their own weird and wonderful set of cues, both verbal and tactile, that they find most effective in their teaching, and the excitement of an ‘ah ha!’ moment, when the simplicity of a new way of explaining things helps an exercise ‘click’, is thrilling for teacher and mover alike. Plain and simple, each one of us sees and interprets movement differently.

Every teacher has found their way to pilates through a unique and rich background, sometimes through injury, or sport, through dancing or via a family member, and each teachers’ history gives them a deep and entirely unique perspective on what they see. Their pre-pilates training can be just as fundamental to their skills as a teacher as their pilates training! Training courses are very comprehensive and ensure every teacher is well equipped to manage a wide variety of clients from the get-go, from all ends of the beginner-advanced spectrum and with all manner of personal and physical history, in a safe and authentic manner. It’s what they bring to it that makes each teacher special. Throw in a personality mix, each one of us is different and each day you turn up to the studio is a chance at a different perspective, a different challenge and a different achievement.

So next time you teacher is away and you have a fill-in, or your schedule changes and you have to find a new regular time, don’t despair! There are lots of pros to the cons of getting to know someone new, and we honestly believe that you can learn something from every teacher you work with.

Summer Special Weekend Classes

Why wait til January to start a new fitness routine?

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We’re supplying lovers of pilates with some extra opportunities to get strong for the silly season. Join us at both studios on the weekends until Christmas, with extra Reformer & TRX classes, combo classes and we’ve even added yoga! Experience how yoga can complement your pilates training with an invigorating class to finish your weekend.

Read more here

 

 

Get the most out of your Spring fitness routine

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We all know Spring is the best time for getting in shape. The sun is up earlier, the sky is blue, the promise of summer holidays, entertaining and relaxing is just around the corner. And Pilates instructors are full of inspiration! Having made it through the early starts in the dark, it’s so rewarding seeing our dedicated regulars come through the other side of winter and start to step up their fitness routines. Plus, we welcome enthusiastic new faces into our studio which brings a buzz of excitement.

So, how can you harness all that is great about Spring to get maximum benefits??

Here’s our top tips:

  1. Commit to a routine, and book in advance. You are way more likely to turn up to a class that you’ve booked, and classes quickly fill up at this time of the year.
  2. Challenge yourself with something new. If you’ve been doing Reformer classes, try TRX. If you attend trio sessions, pick a new goal to work towards. A change is as good as a holiday and attempting something challenging will get you motivated to conquer it.
  3. Workout with a friend. We love hearing your weekly routines of TRX followed by smoothies! Or lunch break debriefs on Reformers. Exercise is a healthier way to catch up with a mate, and you can never underestimate the power of not wanting to be the one to cancel.
  4. Pick your personal driving force and watch for results. A toned, lean and stronger body might be the aim of your fitness game, or you might be more focused on the health and wellbeing benefits of better concentration, better energy, and a guaranteed endorphin rush. Whatever your goal, keep track and watch for changes. In 10 weeks, when Summer hits you’ll be glad you started now.

There’s no excuse for not feeling motivated at this time of the year, so jump on that feeling and reap the rewards!

Pilates vs. Pilates – how to choose the right type of class for you

With so many Pilates options out there these days, it can be tricky to choose which is best for you. Do you get more benefit from the personal attention of a Private class? Or do you work harder with the energy and flow of a group atmsophere?

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Both are right and each style has its benefits. The trick is finding which is the best class for you, depending on your personality, your body and your schedule.

For example, if you are new to pilates but have regularly exercised before and are fairly in touch with your body, you might find the flow and structure of a group class gets you right on track. You are used to listening and watching for instructions and you know when to stop if something doesn’t feel right. As always, the more feedback you can get from a teacher, the better your form (and therefore the benefits) so choose a class with a well-trained instructor and a small class size (less than 10 is perfect).

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If you are new to pilates but have a sore back (or knee, or neck, or shoulder, or little toe…….we’ve seen everything!) then a group class may not be your best choice. Some Pilates exercises can be harmful if you’ve not yet learned how to manage your injury in different positions.  This is where the studio work is for you! You can work just as hard, on all parts of the body, but your knowledgable instructor will know how to choose and modify exercises so they are safe and effective in a personalised way.

Conditions such as a weakened pelvic floor, or a lower back disc injury or joint strain, don’t cope well with some of the common positions and challenges in the Pilates floor repertoire. In the studio environment, a private class is always going to give you top results (it’s like a personal trainer, a physical therapist and a boot camp teacher all in one) but semi-private sessions make this individualized approach to pilates more affordable and allow you to attend more regularly. Look for groups of no more than 3 or 4 and individually directed sessions where the teacher is with you the whole time.

So, here’s a few pointers……

– the smaller the class the more individual correction you’ll get

– the better your form, the more you’ll benefit

– your enjoyment factor is important! Stick to groups if you love the atmosphere of working in a group. Stick to privates if you love, love, love having that one-on-one attention

– respect your body. If you are recovering from an injury or managing a condition, stick to classes where your current limits are respected and accommodated

– consistency is the key! Finding a balance of classes that suit your timetable and budget will give you the best results over time

There are many teachers, studios and classes out there so if you’re still confused, ask for advice. Any teacher should be able to advise a class or combination that works for you and your budget.

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Conference photos

October 22-25 was our escape to the wonderful world of non-stop Pilates at the Pilates Alliance Austalasia conference 2015. We always work hard, think hard (and ok, let’s be honest – party a little bit too). It’s a great chance for us to hang out as instructors and friends and to reenergise ourself with the fabulosity energy of Pilates enthusiasts from all over the country. Not to mention the Pilates experts from all over the world! This year the   leading presenters were Chris Robinson from San Diego, New Yorker Brooke Siler, Dr. Joseh Muscolino and Sean Gallagher. All from a Classical Pilates background, and with direct links to Joe Pilates and his first generation of teachers, the presenters were inspiring and informative. We teasered, we jackknifed, we horsebacked, we swanned and we 100s-ed. Oh, did we 100s-ed. Here’s a few photos of what we got up to!

   
    
 

   
  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Foot-lates in the studio

Our feet can get a bit neglected in Winter! Hidden in socks and shoved in shoes for much of the day. We often don’t give them a thought ……… until Pilates 🙂 In the studio, we love to look after feet. Apart from the fact that it feels really good to give your feet some TLC, we know the feet are an important factor in the way you walk, stand, step and hold your posture. Joe Pilates understood the importance of this crucial link in our biomechanical chain, and many of his exercises incorportate working the feet with specific alignment, activation and coordination required of the toes, feet and ankles. Some of his lesser known inventions were the Toe Corrector and Foot Corrector! And more recent inventions from physical therapies and sport science have been gladly incorporated into modern Pilates practice such as therabands, spikey balls, swivel discs and wobble boards.

Our latest additions to the studio toe-toys are the Foot Corrector and the Functional Foot Plates. The Foot Corrector strengthens the toes, arch and ankle with a series of specific exercises, and can be used to inform and train correct foot patterning for gait (walking). The Functional Foot Plates help you find centered alignment over your legs and pelvis, assisting posture and facilitating the best possible action of external and internal rotation of the hips (turn-out and pigeon-toed). The repertoire on these gadgets is small, but effective, and focused repetition at the beginning of every class over a number of weeks can make a huge difference if these are areas you need to work on 🙂

Ask your instructor if you’d love to experience some Foot-love this Winter!IMG_1023 IMG_1026 IMG_1074 IMG_1075 IMG_1070